West Bengal and Kerala, have asked Narendra Modi-led federal government to put the National Register of Citizens process on hold, the only two states to do so, media reports quoted government sources as saying.
Though the exercise is carried out every 10 years, online media site Scroll reported that for the first time the Union government will link the biometric details of respondents, collected through Aadhaar (the unique identification number of citizens), with controversial new information such as parents' birthplace.
Activists in West Bengal alleged that this is the first step towards the proposed exercise of NRC, a Supreme Court monitored exercise that aims to identify the genuine citizens of the country and deport illegal immigrants.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said there was no link between the NRC and the NPR.
“I am clearly stating this … NPR is a register of population, NRC is a register of citizens. There is no link between the two and the two have different processes,” Shah stated on 24 December in an interview with Indian news agency ANI.
The NPR exercise was first carried out under the Congress-led alliance government in 2010, under the leadership of the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram.